There are many strategic planning models, frameworks and systems. While such models provide a basis for process, each strategic planning framework should be adaptable to the needs of the organization. Best practices for strategic planning support a model based on inputs and outputs that deliver results:Research- In the Research phase, we discover the current state in terms of the market and the client’s positioning.

Analyze- In the Analyze phase, we consider what external forces may impact future demand, the competitive environment in which the client operates, and internal data that may inform decisions.

Plan- In the Plan phase, we work with the management team (usually 7 to 12 people) to agree on what markets to pursue, with what products and services, supported by what infrastructure (people, processes and technology). These decisions are formalized in a strategic planning document (download example here).

Act- In the Act phase, the client focuses on executing their strategic plan, meeting regularly to update market conditions and hold each other accountable to performance outcomes.

Measure- Aligning KPIs (key performance indicators) to the business strategy is central to the execution of a strategic plan. As consultants, we help managers choose relevant KPIs and implement a process for holding their teams accountable to them.

Certain components are typically included in a strategic plan:

  • Mission
  • Values
  • Vision
  • Executive Summary
  • Market Analysis
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Value Proposition Statement
  • Financial Projections
  • Key Objectives
  • Action Plan
  • KPIs

After a cycle of strategic planning is completed, well-run companies create a muscle in which they repeat the cycle every year, creating momentum for the business.